Gluten Free Living: 3 Easy Tips For Going To A BBQ

June 25, 2011


...or How Not To Be The Annoying Person With A Bag Of "Special" Food!

Anyone with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance knows that going out to eat is hard enough, and the idea of attending a BBQ or cookout at someone else's house can be even more intimidating. With 4th of July right around the corner, invitations to attend an outdoor cooking event or three will probably start rolling in. Depending on how well you know the host or hostess, you may or may not be in the position to make special requests of the Grill Master -- but even if this is your best friend, asking for special treatment to accommodate your dietary restrictions usually feels pretty shady - no one wants to be the high maintenance guest with a whole special menu just for them! So how do you navigate the complex world of summer cookouts and barbecues without feeling like a huge pain in the butt while keeping yourself safe? Here are 3 easy tips to keep in mind for the next time you're invited over for a cookout!

Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions
While we love our friends and family and they seem to "get it", it never hurts to double check for little forgotten details like, "Did you anything to your burger patties?" or "What brand of hotdogs were those again?" While this may seem like a no-brainer to us, if your aunt has been making her burgers with bread crumbs or taco seasoning since before you were born, she may not be thinking about making them any other way! It never hurts to double check, and if you just keep your question low-key, you shouldn't worry about hurting anyone's feelings. 

No, I'm not talking about beer -- but feel free to bring your own beer, too! -- I'm talking about buns. While lettuce wraps are super easy, depending on how self conscious you are (or desperate for a bun like I usually am!), don't forget to bring your own. Both Udi's and Canyon Bakehouse make exceptional gluten free hamburger buns! Like your buns toasted or grilled? Don't forget to ask your grill master if wheat has ever graced his or her grill! Nothing is more frustrating than thinking you're on top of things by bringing your own bun, only to realize that you handed it over to someone who is grilling it right alongside whole-wheat rolls and flipping 'em with the same tongs - yikes! While it may never occur to you to grill buns and burgers together, there are plenty of folks who do - so make sure you find out before your gluten free burger patty or bun is thrown down on that pipin' hot wheat-covered grill!

Be A Condiment Caddy
While most squeeze bottles limit the risk of cross contamination (as opposed to a collective mayonnaise jar!), the brand can make a huge difference. The easiest thing? Buy those individual packets of ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc. and bring 'em with! You can purchase them by the case from Amazon (approximately $20/200 packets!) or individually from Minimus (from $0.06-$0.21 per packet) - from Heinz Ketchup to Kraft Mayo, you can find travel-size packets of just about anything! The best part? Those cute little 1 oz packets fit neatly into a pocket or purse, eliminating the need to bring your own mega-sized 32 oz jug of ketchup.

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